I sometimes feel like I could wallpaper my house – ten times over – with the amount of paper that comes in the door. I’ll have to tackle school paperwork in another post!
Recently, I found THIS website about cutting down what we buy, what we use and what we throw away. I can’t say that my family will be putting six months of trash in a tiny shoebox, but I do think we have some work to do. First up, the mail. I know you might be thinking I’ve lost my marbles. Mail, really? Well, I look at it this way. If I can reduce what comes into my house, that’s less time I have to spend sorting it, filing it or recycling it.
1. Log on to Catalog Choice and set up your free account. Yeah, I think they have a paying service, but you don’t need to waste your moula. Basically, if you’re on the mailing list of catalogs that you just don’t need, instead of a) calling the 800# and waiting forever or b) logging on to their website to unsubscribe, you can c) log on at Catalog Choice and do them all at once! I have cut the junk mail down significantly by doing that simple log on.
2. Carry a pen in your car. We have a locked mailbox, so I usually stop by the box and pick up our mail after school. I quickly sort through the mail and pull out any of the junk mail. It immediately gets a “RTS Please Remove” and plopped back into the outgoing mailbox. That would be “Return to Sender, Please Remove”. The sender is REQUIRED to remove you and it’s quite likely that will be the last time you get any mail from them. I have had a few stubborn ones, but after a couple of RTS’ they finally got the message.
3. I open the mail in our driveway and then take all the circulars, envelopes and any other paper that doesn’t need to be shredded and throw it into the recycle bin in the garage. You see my trend? I’m trying to keep any unnecessary paper from even crossing my threshold!
4. Anything that needs to be shredded goes straight to the office. One of the kids is almost always happy to do this chore.
5. I have a shelf in my office where I place things that need to be filed and I tackle the pile every 3-4 weeks.
6. The remainder of the “action” mail is set on my computer keyboard and I try to follow the “handle it once” rule. If it’s a birthday invite, I check our calendar and respond one way or the other. If it’s a bill, it gets entered to be paid online. If it’s a phone call I need to make, I either make it then, or put it in my to-do’s for the following morning.
7. And, if you want even MORE ideas for stopping the junk, go to THIS BLOG. Excellent information!
By nature, I’m a pile stacker and a list maker. This mail project has been great for me. Happy reducing!